Snowflakes on Silver Cove (White Cliff Bay Book 2) by Holly Martin

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 30 October 2015

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. After reading and thoroughly enjoying book 1 in the White Cliff Bay series (review here), I couldn’t wait to get my bookish nose stuck inside book 2.

What a fabulously funny start to a book, I had two thoughts running through my mind at that point – it’s either a mouse or a neighbour! When it became clear who was responsible I couldn’t help but laugh, something that was a regular occurrence throughout I might add.

Learning more about Libby’s friendship with George put a big smile on my face, especially when they first became friends. Assumptions can lead to all sorts of embarrassing situations and Libby found that out the hard way! Both of these characters were extremely likeable and this made it easy for me to sink into the storyline and their lives. Their dating plan was quite obviously heading in one direction but I was keen to find out what kind of twists and turns their journey would take.

This book had two storylines running alongside one another and sometimes meeting in the middle. Seb and Amy’s story was just as intriguing as Libby and George’s but in a different way. I think they brought an extra touch of emotion to the table.

I loved the fact that the author weaved parts of book 1 into the storyline, for me this gave it a familiar edge. You actually don’t have to read book 1 first though, it would easily work both ways!

As I mentioned before, this book raised lots of laughs and I’d like to share some of my favourites with you:

  • A crazy cat rescue – purple is the new white you know.
  • A prank gone wrong followed by a prank gone right.
  • A very conspicuous costume that had me giggling even when I wasn’t reading!

This was a truly romantic and smiley kind of read. Holly Martin is quickly becoming a new favourite of mine.

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Recipes For Disaster by Sheryl Browne

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Published in January 2012

“She’s a single. He’s a widower. She wants him. He wants her. She wants to impress. So does he. There’s just one catch – she can’t cook.

To get him, she needs to get past the big fish – his mother. Lucky her, she’s got an Ace up her sleeve and all she’s got to do is impress this one time. Bad luck, though, her new guy can’t cook either, her dog Rambo is on the loose and now they’ve got to pull off the big lunch at the club.

Will it be a match made in heaven? Will they be able to pull off a culinary miracle? Will their combined efforts result in love at first bite? Or is it simply a Recipe for Disaster?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank Janice from Loveahappyending for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.  I always enjoy Sheryl’s books (previous reviews here) and the idea of this one thoroughly intrigued me. I was curious to see if a cookbook within a story would work for me and if Sheryl could achieve the right balance of both elements.

Other than the recipes, one of the stand-out parts of this book was the comedy  – I was laughing out loud after just a few pages at Lisa’s kitchen disasters.  Once again Sheryl’s sense of humour spoke to me and I found that I was able to connect with the storyline easily.  There were plenty of funny and, at times, crazy antics to keep me entertained and on top of all that were lots of yummy recipes and useful cooking tips which I shall definitely be using myself!

Reading from the perspective of different characters meant that I got a full picture of what was going on in each of their minds, this is something that I always find enjoyable when I read.

A pinch of lust and a spoonful of misunderstandings added yet more twists to this addictive book and I simply can’t write this review without mentioning Rambo the dog and Flint the parrot who were particular favourites of mine – their scenes were so funny!

This book was light-hearted, fun to read and full of delicious recipes. A big thumbs-up from me.

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Neurotically Yours by Bonnie Trachtenberg

Neurotically yours
Published in November 2013.

“Smart, attractive, and ambitious, thirty-seven-year-old Dara Harrison is, nonetheless, still single—and on sabbatical from dating. Ironically Los Angeles’ most renowned relationship advice columnist, Dara has become a Southland sensation with her “tell-it-like-it-is” approach to the mating game.

Parlaying her success into a new business, Dara launches a revolutionary dating service geared for the perennially single and romantically challenged. Its no-holds-barred theme soon makes the company a roaring success, even catapulting Dara onto the national talk show scene—until, of course, it all backfires. 

With her company under threat and a publicity stunt gone haywire, Dara is forced to join the ranks of her lonely heart clientele, and suddenly realizes that saving the business she cherishes, means facing her lifelong fears—and maybe even falling in love again.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank Janice from Loveahappyending for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.

It felt like I learned quite a bit about Dara’s character in the prologue – it highlighted a moment in her childhood that was clearly going to play a part in her dating future.  Moving forward to the present day and I instantly liked grown-up Dara, she was the kind  of person I would be friends with in real life and this made it easy for me to relate to her.  She also had a lovely connection with her cat and being such a huge animal lover myself I really enjoyed this side of the storyline.

I absolutely loved the whole idea of MateSearch, Dara’s new business venture, particularly the Rate-a-Mate idea which I just knew would create some awkward situations. I was excited to see what kind of characters would take part and how this opportunity would affect Dara’s life.

When I was first introduced to Tony, Dara’s ex-boyfriend, there was something about him that I just really liked and I was keen to see what would happen to their friendship.  Nick was a wonderful character, he was going through a tough time and so was naturally a little bit grumpy – this grumpiness made me laugh and simply made me like even him more!  The court case was highly amusing and had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.  I had a feeling quite early on that Dara’s love life could go one of two ways with two possible love interests on the scene, I was curious to see which direction she would take and when it all became clear I felt happy with her choice.

The writing style was captivating and kept pulling me back for more, making this a quick read for me.  I became totally caught up in the day-to-day running of the dating service and also in each of the characters lives – the drama that seemed to follow them all was an added bonus!

This was a thoroughly enjoyable, easy read with some touching moments thrown in too.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

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Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige

fixed on you

“Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out–move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan.

But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous–the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it.

Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.”

MY REVIEW

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this eBook from the author’s release event giveaway.  I loved the sound of it and have been looking forward to reading it for quite a while.

Straight away I got a sense of fun from the book, the characters seemed young and vibrant as did the nightclub where Alayna worked. The first time she met Hudson the sexual tension crackled between them so strongly that I could almost feel the sparks flying off the page.  When it turned out that he had bought the nightclub I just knew that his presence would throw her life into chaos.

Hudson was smooth, confident and totally sexy – such an easy character to fall for.  I have to admit that I was surprised by his proposition to Alayna, it wasn’t at all what I had been expecting and seeing as both of them were so fiery I couldn’t wait to see where the agreement would take them.

Hints of trouble from both of their pasts intrigued me, I was particularly fascinated by Alayna’s addiction which was something I hadn’t heard of before but could sort of understand how it would happen. Changes in their relationship throughout the storyline kept me interested, there were many ups and downs creating a rollercoaster feeling within me.

I would have liked to read from Hudson’s point of view at least once or twice during the book because I was desperate to know what he was thinking!  I enjoyed the ending but I definitely have unanswered questions which I hope will be answered in the next book Found in You.  I can’t wait to read more from these characters.

This was an intoxicating, steamy page-turner that left me wanting more.

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The Greatest Love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson

The greatest love story of all time

“It’s Fran’s thirtieth birthday and things are good . . .

She’s bluffed her way into a Very Posh Job and her outlandishly handsome and talented boyfriend Michael is escorting her to the Ritz with a bulge the shape of a ring box in his pocket.

But something has gone wrong. Very wrong. By the end of the evening Fran is howling in bed with a bottle of cheap brandy and one of Michael’s old socks.

In her quest to figure out why her life has suddenly gone down the pan, Fran comes up with a failsafe plan: live like a badger, stalk a stranger called Nellie and cancel her beloved Gin Thursdays in favour of drinking gin every night. But then Fran’s friends force a very different plan on her and it’s nowhere near as fun. How could eight dates possibly make her feel better?

But eventually she agrees. And so begins the greatest love story of all time . . .”

MY REVIEW

I bought this book after reading and enjoying A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger by the same author – my review of that book can be found here.

Getting to know the main character Fran at the beginning of the book was entertaining to say the least, I particularly enjoyed reading about the time she met Michael – I just couldn’t help but laugh! The whole storyline was filled with my kind of humour, there were rude jokes, clumsy moments and amusing events that kept me flipping the pages with a smile on my face.

The supporting characters were just as fun as the main character and this is something that I always like in a book because it gives me more of a well-rounded reading experience.  My favourites were Leonie and Dave – Leonie just had such an honest/blunt way of talking, her antics had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.  Dave was a curious man who also said what he was thinking in a very amusing way but there was also a mysterious side to him that I couldn’t quite figure out.

The dating part of the story was so much fun, the messages Fran received were hilarious and I loved reading about the dates themselves, once again these were filled with humour and entertainment. However, putting all the fun and laughter aside there was a small element of the storyline that was far more serious.  It involved Fran’s mum and I felt that the behaviour of all those concerned was written accurately and with feeling, in my opinion it grounded the book and added a touch of a difficult reality.

This was a fun read with a hint of real-life difficulties, I look forward to more from this author.

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In Too Deep – Michelle Kemper Brownlow

In too deep

“Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?”

MY REVIEW 

Firstly I’d like to thank Sapphire Star Publishing for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.  I loved the sound of this book, I had a feeling it would be my kind of read and I was totally right. I literally couldn’t put it down, I found myself doing the housework one-handed just so I could carry on reading.  This rollercoaster read was finished in less than a day!

A dramatic start grabbed my attention straight away, I was flipping through the pages to find out exactly what had happened to cause all the drama.  When the revelation came I felt annoyed on Gracie’s behalf and flabbergasted at the way Noah revealed all!  I knew at this point that I would become very involved with the storyline.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks to the beginning of Gracie and Noah’s relationship and I could easily see why she fell for him, he was the classic bad boy and that made him a great character to read because he created both positive and negative reactions within me. Throughout the book the author described Gracie’s emotions beautifully, it felt believable, real and almost tangible.  Gracie was very likeable, the ups and downs of her life were fascinating to read about and I began to feel quite protective over her so I loved it when she stood up for herself.

Jake was a wonderful character who added a touch of relief when things got really tough for Gracie.  His intervention was one of my favourite parts of the book, I could see what Gracie couldn’t and I was hoping that she would eventually see what was so obvious in my eyes.

A heart-pounding confrontation ended the book with yet more drama and I look forward to seeing how Gracie’s life continues in the sequel On Solid Ground which will be released in December 2013.

This was a fantastic read filled with drama, heartbreak and romance. If you’re a fan of New Adult books then you will love this!

Buy In Too Deep from:

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EXCERPT

The strong force of the wave pulled me under. I gasped for air just before my face disappeared below the surface. My body rolled over and over, my arms flailed, and my head pounded into the sea bed which felt like a concrete floor. The salty water stung my eyes. I forced myself to keep them open, fearing I would slip into unconsciousness from the blow I took to the head. I knew I had to hold it together long enough for the swell to pull me back up when the wave rolled. But something was pulling me deeper. I fought with all my might, kicking against the thick water swallowing me whole. I used my arms like underwater oars and sliced through the depths trying to reach what I needed most, but I was in too deep.

“Get out!” I could barely get the words out before I had to run to the bathroom and void my gut of its contents. Noah didn’t move.

I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and screamed, “I said, Get! Out!” I stumbled back into the room, grabbed the box of mementos I’d collected from the last year of our relationship, and dumped everything into the trashcan in the corner. Like a communal grave, there lay movie tickets, dried rose petals, a strip of photos from the boardwalk, all the beautiful letters he wrote last fall semester, an empty beer bottle, and all the rest of what was now just a reminder of the guy I thought I knew.

“Gracie, don’t…” His face fell, but he didn’t move from the edge of my bed.

“Don’t? Don’t what, Noah? Don’t break up with you? Are you kidding?” My ears burned from his admission of guilt. It hit me broadside. I wasn’t prepared for the words he had spoken just moments before.

The rush of water covering me grew cold. Icy. My body quaked. My lungs burned and begged for air. I could see light above. It glimmered and danced on the small waves my panic created. I reached for the surface. Even if I couldn’t pull myself up, maybe just feeling the sun’s warmth would stop the shivering that threatened to unravel me.

My legs gave out beneath me and I crumbled into a heap on my apartment floor. I sobbed so uncontrollably I gasped for air. I was livid. Repulsed. Crushed and torn. Noah was the love of my life, and things were just getting back to the way I longed for them to be. Back to what used to be our “normal.” Before he pledged Sigma Chi. Our relationship hadn’t been easy since I transferred to Knoxville. But our story wasn’t ready to end.

It went something like this:

Bad boy meets good girl.
First kiss.
Bad boy turns sensitive.
Love.
Good girl gives sensitive boy all of her.
Long distance.
Flowers. Love letters.
Long, sweet phone calls.
Good girl transfers to sensitive boy’s school.
Sensitive boy becomes fraternity boy.
Drunken social events.
Secrets revealed.
Fraternity boy pulls good girl under.
Good girl finds herself in too deep.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In too deep photoMichelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters life on the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow.

To find out more:

Blog | Sapphire Star Publishing | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Break-Up Test – Rose McClelland

The break-up test

“Meet Amy, Beth and Sarah. All intelligent women with one thing in common – a bad taste in men!

Amy receives seductive texts from Gav and promptly skips round to his house for a mid-afternoon romp. She never planned it that way. Maybe one day he’ll actually fall in love with her?

Beth sits at her desk, her mobile phone propped up in front of her keyboard. Anytime soon it’ll light up like the Blackpool Illuminations, and Karl will finally get in touch about that drink. It’s been five days…

Sarah is seeing Stephen, trying to believe his claim that although he shares a bed with his ex, Kat, they aren’t sleeping together. She can’t believe it’s turned into one of THOSE stories you read about in women’s weeklies.

Then Jamie comes along with his Break-Up Test and turns their lives upside down.

Will Gav, Karl and Stephen suddenly sniff the competition and clean up their acts?

And what exactly is in it for Jamie?”

I bought this eBook from Amazon after reading a couple of good reviews, it sounded like something I would enjoy so I thought I’d give it a try.

The plot was simple – three women with three different relationship problems and a guy who has had a crush on the same girl since his days at university.  My initial impression of the three women were as follows: Amy seemed like a bit of a pushover, Beth seemed rather desperate and Sarah was just plain delusional where relationships were concerned.  I kind of wanted to jump into the book and tell them to stop letting men treat them so badly but they soon figured it out all by themselves and this is where the fun started…

When Jamie came onto the scene it was clear that he also had a relationship dilemma, unfortunately for him his crush wasn’t showing any signs of reciprocating so during a drunken evening they all came up with a list of commandments which they named the break-up test.  The break-up test was all about not accepting poor treatment from men/women and moving on from those who were not showing any signs of commitment.  Do you think they achieved this goal? You’ll have to read it and find out :P.

Reading about their unsuccessful attempts at dating was entertaining but there were parts of the storyline that I felt were repeated, on more than one occasion I found myself thinking I had accidentally got my pages mixed up and was reading the same part twice.

This was a fun read, it didn’t knock my socks off but I still enjoyed it.

To find out more about Rose McClelland:

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